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17 September 2012

Bruce Bowers emailed from Singapore:

Greetings to all ...My name is Bruce Bowers and I was one of the unusual expats that didn't work for BCL on Bougainville , but Queensland Insurance (QI) in Arawa 1983-1985.

I took a six-month assignment on Bougainville in March 1983, from the suburbs in Sydney and have never returned to Australia. I currently live in Singapore. I still remember arriving on Bougainville in shorts with long socks and a safari coat ,with a line of pens in the coat pocket...I had no idea where I was going it was simply an adventure.

I have so many fond memories of my time on Bougainville, the people, the great wreck-diving, climbing Mt. Negrohead behind Arawa and finding the remains of a coastwatcher cave to great weekends on Arovo island, caving and exploring the islands around Buka in search of Lapita Pottery remains with Barry and Cindy Hastie from Coopers and Lybrand. Whatever happened to Ian (Patto) Patterson, the panel beater from Arovo Motors, or Mark (have-a-chat) Johnson from Westpac? I remember fondly the Kieta Hotel (big nights) and the manager who called himself the "Phantom".

I remember a mad young couple from Tal-Air who invited over 30 guests to their farewell at the Arawa Golf Club, collected all cash contributions for the dinner from their "friends", then flew out the next day to Moresby without paying the bill! Keith Larson from Morgan Equipment - anyone know where he is? Another legend from that time.... Would be great to hear from anyone who remembers me or knows those mentioned above.

Bruce Bowers